Computational Model Library

Large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) threaten smallholder livelihoods globally. Despite more than a decade of research on the LSLA phenomenon, it remains a challenge to identify governance conditions that may foster beneficial outcomes for both smallholders and investors. One potentially promising strategy toward this end is contract farming (CF), which more directly involves smallholder households in commodity production than conditions of acquisition and displacement.

To improve understanding of how CF may mediate the outcomes of LSLAs, we developed an agent-based model of smallholder livelihoods, which we used as a virtual laboratory to experiment on a range of hypothetical LSLA and CF implementation scenarios.

The model represents a community of smallholder households in a mixed crop-livestock system. Each agent farms their own land and manages a herd of livestock. Agents can also engage in off-farm employment, for which they earn a fixed wage and compete for a limited number of jobs. The principal model outputs include measures of household food security (representing access to a single, staple food crop) and agricultural production (of a single, staple food crop).

The Price Evolution with Expectations model provides the opportunity to explore the question of non-equilibrium market dynamics, and how and under which conditions an economic system converges to the classically defined economic equilibrium. To accomplish this, we bring together two points of view of the economy; the classical perspective of general equilibrium theory and an evolutionary perspective, in which the current development of the economic system determines the possibilities for further evolution.

The Price Evolution with Expectations model consists of a representative firm producing no profit but producing a single good, which we call sugar, and a representative household which provides labour to the firm and purchases sugar.The model explores the evolutionary dynamics whereby the firm does not initially know the household demand but eventually this demand and thus the correct price for sugar given the household’s optimal labour.

The model can be run in one of two ways; the first does not include money and the second uses money such that the firm and/or the household have an endowment that can be spent or saved. In either case, the household has preferences for leisure and consumption and a demand function relating sugar and price, and the firm has a production function and learns the household demand over a set number of time steps using either an endogenous or exogenous learning algorithm. The resulting equilibria, or fixed points of the system, may or may not match the classical economic equilibrium.

The purpose of this model is to understand the role of trade networks and their interaction with different fish resources, for fish provision. The model is developed based on a multi-methods approach, combining agent-based modeling, network analysis and qualitative data based on a small-scale fisheries study case. The model can be used to investigate both how trade network structures are embedded in a social-ecological context and the trade processes that occur within them, to analyze how they lead to emergent outcomes related to the resilience of fish provision. The model processes are informed by qualitative data analysis, and the social network analysis of an empirical fish trade network. The network analysis can be used to investigate diverse network structures to perform model experiments, and their influence on model outcomes.

The main outcomes we study are 1) the overexploitation of fish resources and 2) the availability and variability of fish provision to satisfy different market demands, and 3) individual traders’ fish supply at the micro-level. The model has two types of trader agents, seller and dealer. The model reveals that the characteristics of the trade networks, linked to different trader types (that have different roles in those networks), can affect the resilience of fish provision.

Peer reviewed A Macroeconomic Model of a Closed Economy

Ian Stuart | Published Sat May 8 15:22:16 2021 | Last modified Wed Jun 23 14:33:37 2021

This model/program presents a “three industry model” that may be particularly useful for macroeconomic simulations. The main purpose of this program is to demonstrate a mechanism in which the relative share of labor shifts between industries.

Care has been taken so that it is written in a self-documenting way so that it may be useful to anyone that might build from it or use it as an example.

This model is not intended to match a specific economy (and is not calibrated to do so) but its particular minimalist implementation may be useful for future research/development.

AgentEx aims to advance understanding of group processes for sustainable management of a common pool resource (CPR). By supporting the development and test explanations of cooperation and sustainable exploitation.

Team Cognition

Iris Lorscheid | Published Sun May 23 14:25:17 2021

The teamCognition model investigates team decision processes by using an agent-based model to conceptualize team decisions as an emergent property. It uses a mixed-method research design with a laboratory experiment providing qualitative and quantitative input for the model’s construction, as well as data for an output validation of the model. The agent-based model is used as a computational testbed to contrast several processes of team decision making, representing potential, simplified mechanisms of how a team decision emerges. The increasing overall fit of the simulation and empirical results indicates that the modeled decision processes can at least partly explain the observed team decisions.

Knowledge Based Economy (KBE) is an artificial economy where firms placed in geographical space develop original knowledge, imitate one another and eventually recombine pieces of knowledge. In KBE, consumer value arises from the capability of certain pieces of knowledge to bridge between existing items (e.g., Steve Jobs illustrated the first smartphone explaining that you could make a call with it, but also listen to music and navigate the Internet). Since KBE includes a mechanism for the generation of value, it works without utility functions and does not need to model market exchanges.

Peer reviewed agent-based model studying money

Juan Ocampo | Published Thu Mar 4 18:48:40 2021 | Last modified Mon Mar 15 07:01:41 2021

1.7 billion people appear to be financially excluded. Due to the relevance of the problem, special purpose monies known as Complementary Currencies (CC) seem to be a potential solution. This doctoral project inquiries into the organising of money and its performative effects. It does so by following the communities designing CC and engineering their markets.

Here we share the raw results of the social experiments of the paper “Gossip and competitive altruism support cooperation in a Public Good Game” by Giardini, Vilone, Sánchez, Antonioni, under review for Philosophical Transactions B. The experiment is thoroughly described there, in the following we summarize the main features of the experimental setup. The authors are available for further clarifications if requested.

Participants were recruited from the LINEEX subjects pool (University of Valencia Experimental Economics lab). 160 participants mean age = 21.7 years; 89 female) took part in this study in return for a flat payment of 5 EUR and the opportunity to earn an additional payment ranging from 8 to 16 EUR (mean total payment = 17.5 EUR). 80 subjects, divided into 5 groups of 16, took part in the competitive treatment while other 80 subjects participated in the non-competitive treatment. Laboratory experiments were conducted at LINEEX on September 16th and 17th, 2015.

RAGE models a stylized common property grazing system. Agents follow a certain behavioral type. The model allows analyzing how household behavior with respect to a social norm on pasture resting affects long-term social-ecological system dynamics.

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